Category: Yours Truly!

Yours Truly! (11) 

Goodness gracious! My story now comes to part 11. I hope you will like it. 

Yours Truly (11)!

When he stepped out of the car, standing under the ruthless rain, my heart skipped from its place. Why was he here? I thought to myself. I rose up, my eyes all fixed on him. 

He stood there, looking at me. With the darkness as well as the rain between us, I couldn’t see his face clearly. The water was flowing across his face and in moments he was completely drenched. His black trousers and white crisp shirt now clung to his body as water fell from them on the ground.

Time seemed to have stopped for me, for him, for us. For nothing made us move. Neither he stepped forward nor did he go backwards. I felt as though nails had fixed me to the floor, neither a foot moved nor did a sound come out of my throat. 

Then, he moved!

With a swift movement, he closed the door of the car. He started walking towards the house. Towards me. Just in that moment, I felt the whole magic spell break. My eyes fell on the clock on the wall across the window. It arms lay across lazily, the shorter one beyond 10 and the longer one beyond 11. His party was supposed to be in full fledge. What was he doing here? Was I supposed to have done something wrong? Did anything go wrong tonight for his venture? 

Oh God! Please no!

Seeing him walk briskly towards the house, made me think of nothing but concern for him. There was nothing more painful than seeing his aim lost because of me. Had I somehow led to his dreams getting shattered! The worry and anxiety on his face told me that he was in some deep trouble and pain. What had I done? 

In all this, I forgot how moments ago it was I who had been hurt and troubled. It was my broken heart that had needed Mom and Dad’s sanity and strength. It didn’t matter to me when I saw him like that. I didn’t matter to myself. I walked down the porch of the house and met him down the little rock steps where he stood panting as the rain kept wetting him. 

What are you doing here, John? I asked him worry clear in my eyes but trying to sound aloof.

I had to come! He replied, as he tried to catch his breath.

Why? I left everything back there in the office. There is nothing I have with me of yours. I stated as a matter of fact. I really didn’t have anything of his. He had.

You think I would have come all the way down here, if you didn’t have it? He questioned as though I had stolen something from him. Confused at his statement, I waited for him to speak further.

I kept looking at him, now unconcerned that he was as wet as a street cat, lurking out in the rain. How dare he comes here, at my Uncle’s place, and accuse me of having something that was his!

Come on Sandra! I left my dream behind and came here. It means you have something which I desperately need. He repeated. 

Something within me snapped! What was wrong with this man! My anger and blood pressure seemed to sky rocket. I didn’t know what he wanted, what thing of his was with me. But I knew one thing. I wanted him to hurt as much as I was hurting. I wanted him to cry and shout in pain as much as I had. I wanted to be the reason to cause hurt and pain. With fury getting the better of me, I looked around.

His eyes grew wide as he dived away. He dodged the next one. He bent down to escape the third. His hands waving in panic and trying to stop the stones from hitting him.

Sandra!! Stop!! Please stop it! He kept shouting each time a stone was hurled in his direction.

You! You idiot! I screamed and threw one.

You come here… I shouted angrily and threw the next.

You call me a thief! The next one also directed towards him.

Shut up! John! I shout again. I saw him trying to avoid getting hit while I kept picking and throwing stones at him randomly. 

Each time I bend and pick a stone, he seems closer, and easier to hit. One or two did hit the target and hearing him shout my name out with pain, made my heart grin devilishly.

He was just at an arm’s length, when I raised the hand to throw the stone I was holding at him, when I felt one of his big hands across my waist while the other was holding my hand – the one with the stone – strongly. His head rested steadily over mine as my back dashed into his chest. 

Go away! I hate you!! I screamed with anger boiling within me.

But… I felt a shiver down my body, when I realized, that his lips were close to my ears. The word he spoke had made me freeze. His breathing was hard, I could hear him inhale the cold air and the warm air he exhaled fell on my ear lobe. His hands warm and strong, encircled around me, holding me close to his body. My back sticking to his hard and wet chest.

But… I love you Sandra! 

Those words. Softly whispered in my ears, I felt it was something my mind had made up. My ears were ringing or rather they had started dreaming on their own. His warm breath and the words resonated in my ear while I came to a standstill. 

Sure that I had heard it wrong, I turned my face towards his. It added more to my thoughts!

His eyes, staring back at me, told me to understand their pain. The water trickling from the eyelashes, seemed to break down the barrier around his eyes, which now spoke to mine as though they had been long lost lovers.

As the stone from my hand fell, John’s hand entwined with mine. His fingers fit into the spaces between my fingers perfectly. As though they had been crafted together. He pulled our hands towards our bodies. And they rested just above the other pair of hands which were already set in place.

Without a second thought, he pressed me more closer to him. In that cold and wet outside, I could feel inside the heat of the bodies and the hearts rise. 

Seeing my confusion, he released his right hand from the waist, and held both of mine with his left. Raising my chin to face him properly, his lips said it again. This time my eyes and my ears were witness to his words, when he said in his soft voice, I love you!

Youuu…. I tried to say, but his finger had moved to my lips and he silenced me.

Listen to me Sandra. He said as he held me closer to him.

I was restless. Restless, since the day Martin came. 

He paused. 

I always thought love wasn’t for me, and I managed to stay away from it all along. I don’t know, since when, why, where and how this happened. Realisation happened only when Martin looked at you. It was then that I felt strange. 

Everyday we met, we spent hours together. I had you even on weekends with me, so that missing-out-on-love kind of thing never struck me. I thought I was strong enough to erode love. When you left in the evening for home, I dreaded the trip back home. With some or the other reason, I would call you or leave a message for you. Saturdays I took you along with me to the parties, and Sundays I knew you were with your family. In a way, I had closed you up in my cage. Neither accepting it was love nor even realizing what I was doing.

And that night, when I saw Martin with you, the smile you had on your face while you spoke to him or walked beside him, stirred up something within me. 

The next day, his package came and that note made me resent him. I felt like he was some opponent and with some magic he had taken you away from me. I started avoiding you. And that led to those days of torment. I hated him and I despised it that he was openly making an effort to win your heart.
Then, that day in the office, you barged into my cabin and started demanding. I snapped and said the stupidest thing I could have ever said. When you left the room, I knew I had lost your friendship.

Hours later when I saw the email you had sent, truth stared back that I had lost you forever. I tried hard to keep myself engrossed in the work of the party. I planned everything, I shouted, I screamed at everyone and anyone. Nothing was giving me the joy which I had wanted all along in my life. Every time my eyes moved towards the entrance, there was hope that you might just walk in and say, I’ll take it up from here. You came so many times, in my mind’s eye, in my dreams, but never for real. You never came.

I woke up today morning dying to hear from you. I wanted to hold your hand as we always walked into the party halls. I went ahead alone. In the whole party, I saw everyone rejoicing, I saw all celebrating, but not that one who would have rejoiced the most. Not that one who deserved to celebrate it all. Not that one whom I wanted beside me. Every thing that happened seemed to be unreal. I just felt like it wasn’t a success I had achieved. I felt like a man who had lost everything. I felt poor and helpless, though I stood raising my glass of champagne as they all toasted my success. I felt like a lonely soul, whose demise was being celebrated. 

Fury erupted when my eyes fell on him. How badly I wanted to punch his face! How I wanted to pin him down on the ground and hit him! 

But the way he stared back at me, baffled me. He didn’t look like a contender, but someone who could see through my façade, someone who could see my pain. Surprisingly, his eyes made me feel that only he knew the way to ease my pain. 

As I stood alone while the world around me shone, he made me realize that I had been the biggest fool. When the whole world saw, I hadn’t. The whole world could feel it, but couldn’t. He is the one who opened my eyes and showed me that, I hated him as I was jealous. I despised him for I was afraid, and I was alone there as I hadn’t accepted the truth. And the truth is, I love you!

I have never had time to love anyone, you’ve been witness to it. I never went out in parties or hung out with girls as I wanted to wait to fall in love, true love. And while true love had been by my side always, I had turned blind to it! 

I left everything and came here tonight. My dream cannot come true if you aren’t there in it. I don’t want to walk alone through the paths of life anymore. Leaving the party in Martin’s hands, I drove madly to reach here and tell you everything. He says he’s sure you love me, but I want to hear it from you. Tell me Sandra!

I was shocked to hear him speak so carefully and in detail. He was always one with less words. But today he spoke, as if everything of his depended on his words. He loosened his grip still holding my hand in his. 

As I stepped forward trying to release myself and consider what had just happened, he held my arm and pulled me. I was now facing him. His face raw and pained with emotions, his eyes red and his skin turning pale under the cold air and water. One arm held me closer to him, the other moved to my neck. The proximity and the warmth of his skin made me shiver. The rain water travelling across his face, was now falling on my lips.

Be mine Sandra! Please! Let me love you back. Let me give the love I have always had in my heart for you! 
I need you!

 I want you! 

I cannot live without you! Please!!

His voice quivered as he said the last lines. His ‘please’ sounded like a little boy begging for love. And that made my heart wrench. 

The man I had always loved, he finally told me that he loves me. He finally needed me, he wanted me. He loved me! What else did I need to hear now? What more could my heart ache for?

I looked into his eyes, my tears started flowing. The torrents within me quietened, when his lips touched my forehead. And then I told him, for years what I had wanted to tell.

You have no idea John, how much I love you! I softly said, just for his ears to hear. 

As his lips kissed my forehead again, I knew love had stepped into our lives. When our eyes met again, they were filled with sparkles of joy. 

Under the dark grey clouds, with raindrops falling around us like confetti, his lips found mine. My first kiss couldn’t have been more memorable as I fell into his arms. 

Love since then has been shining in my life. John and I, always are together, sometimes as boss and secretary, sometimes as two crazy friends, sometimes as newly wedded couples and sometimes as tired sleepless parents. 

Love can come knocking when you aren’t even aware if you’ve closed the doors. Love is something we take for granted, unless we fear losing it. So fall in love, show your love and stay in love forever!

**THE END**

©SyedaFR

Yours Truly! (10)

Now moving to Yours Truly Part (10).

You may check the  other parts of Yours Truly. Now we have part 10…..

I sat silently in the car while Dad drove us to Uncle Rod’s house. It was getting darker outside. A thundering storm lay ahead of us. An equally huge one lay within me. Dad didn’t prefer to take the short cut, for then he would have to drive across the office premises.  As we passed across the famous La Meridian Banquet hall, my eyes flicked on the board announcing the event within.

It was a tie up celebration. The names of the company looked similar and then it hit me, it was John’s company’s celebration tonight. I just wanted to step down and see what was happening, see how John was, have a look at the arrangements which he dreaded looking into, choose the tapestries, the drapes, the cutlery and the wine glasses. While those thoughts formed in my mind and the ache began to rise in my heart, dad took a steep curve at the corner of the road and the distance between our vehicle and John’s celebratory spot kept increasing. Till finally we were out of the town limits.

Staring into the blankness, I rested my head on Mom’s shoulder. Nothing was registering in my mind. My eyes saw everything yet they had seen nothing. Things passed across my eyes, but none were in my vision. My blurred vision, was only seeing one face, one smile, one figure, and one man!

After about three hours we reached Uncle Rod’s house. Uncle Rod lived far from the town limits, for he was more into gardening and farming. The little he grew at his farmhouse was enough to sustain Uncle Rod and his wife. He had no children. And he wasn’t in any hurry to have them soon either. I had a little water and washed my face with the remaining water. I didn’t want Uncle Rod to see me in that state. He was a rather cool tempered man, but his love for his favourite people sometimes led to him getting involved in unwanted scuffles.

The car screeched to a stop, Mom, Dad and I had just stepped out, when we heard loud rejoicing shouts of Uncle. He rushed quickly and carried inside the marinating chicken Mom had brought, and the cake we had bought from the bakery near home. Uncle Rod had a jawful of sweet teeth. A cake for him and you could ask him for a huge return, and the man would happily oblige. When I walked slowly and hugged him, he held me closer and tighter than usual.

The gong of the huge grandfather clock inside clung with a loud noise as it announced the time as 7 pm. 

7pm. Time for final touches to the arrangements. Food, drinks, valet parking and the waiters and waitresses. 

I stepped in to the aroma of coffee brewing inside. With no mood to get into any of the chatter happening, I went into the kitchen and started arranging the cups and poured the coffee for everyone.

I took my coffee and sat on the porch of Uncle Rod’s house as all the older people were checking on the happenings of their and their relative’s lifes. I always felt out of place here, but I loved to come and see Mom connect to her brother. Being a single child, sometimes seemed like a blessing but sometimes it was awfully lonely. At times like today!

The clouds seemed to grumble, the lightning struck through the sky, rain drops impregnated the clouds heavily. The clouds just waiting for the water to break!

If it rains, the guests might just waver out. If the guests don’t come, the party might just not be up to the mark. 

Oh God! Not  now! Even before I knew the prayers rose from my heart and escaped from the lips.

I sat there seeing the turmoils of the sky, the tempestuous clouds just on the verge of pouring out its contents. I slowly got up to keep the cup inside and walked through the hallway into the kitchen. All of them sat in the hall talking about their old sweet times. Just then, Mom’s mobile rang. She walked towards me, holding her mobile piece between her shoulder jaw. Some call maybe from her office. I walked back to the place I had been occupying, and sat on the wooden swing just outside the door. The petrichorial smell reached my nose and filled me with a strange joy and peace. 

As I saw the clouds cry like me, I felt so close to those white fluffy clouds. Just like me, they had tried hard to stay strong, but then their saturation point was reached and they burst releasing drops of rain.

Mom came out where I sat and ruffled my loose hair. She kissed on the back of my head and murmured softly to me, I love you honey!

A smile spread on my face and I replied, I love you too Mom!

She walked away inside and I sat there, alone and sad. I was allowed some peace, that was unusual if you came to Uncle Rod’s house. But today was an exception.

It was 8pm now, the guests might have started trickling in. Seeing the clouds and the rain, most of them might have kept to the timings John must have set for the party. I could feel the rush of adrenaline, as my thoughts kept drifting to John.

I helped Mom ready the chicken for dinner. I helped aunt with her ginger bread. We three womenfolk were in the kitchen, while dad and uncle Rod sat watching football.

8pm! Food and drinks would have been served now. 

And in an hour or so, John would announce about it and the tie up would become all official.

We sat and had dinner. It was nice to listen to all of them narrate incidents of their early life. The fun of being a child, with no responsibility or worry, the times of their childlhood and other things.

After dinner we sat and watched television while aunt sat with mom and watched the Desperate Housewives reruns on some channel. Wonder what they found interesting enough to sit and watch it so closely!

9pm. Announcements made. Toasts risen. Celebrations begin. John beaming with joy. 

I had been moved away physically but deep inside in my thoughts and emotions were all linked to John.

Sitting on my favourite spot at uncle Rod’s place, under the extended roof, watching the raindrops fall and quench the thirst of the dry ground, gave me a newly energized feeling.

As the rain kept falling, everything became a blur of vision. From far I saw a light blink. It was moving forwards. The rain was stopping the light from proceeding forward. The light was from the headlights of the car. They seemed to be driven by some maniac, who was unable to control them and kept taking curves all along. Somehow it felt as though it was focussed and was seeing nothing and nothing else was on their mind. The car came straight towards the house. 

Stepping out of the car, was him!

What was he here for? What made him come here? Why did the moving car stop a few feet away from Uncle Rod’s farmhouse? How did he know, she was here? Hows and whys collected in her mind and heart. And again she was asking herself what was he here for? 

P.S. – This story doesn’t seem to end like my other short stories. Just seems to get longer and longer. 😌😮

Hope you all enjoyed this and the parts that will follow.  Thanks for reading.

Lots of love and best wishes! 

©S.F.R. 

Yours Truly! (8)

I am back after a loooooong time with my Yours Truly! For the new guests on my blog and for those who haven’t read it yet, here are the previous parts.

Yours Truly Part 1

Yours Truly Part 2

Yours Truly Part 3

Yours Truly Part 4

Yours Truly Part 5

Yours Truly Part 6

Yours Truly Part 7


*** And now read on Part 8***

The night was a sleepless one. Sleep eluded me, smiles avoided me, pain had dwelled deep in my soul. The fact that in a few hours, the morn of Saturday would creep troubled me. With it came forth, the bitter truth that I wasn’t there with John. I wasn’t part of his celebration. I wasn’t part of his life any more. The thing that stung me most was, he was not concerned. He was unaffected. He was all right with my absence, while I was breaking in and out!

As I stood in the balcony, sipping the morning coffee, mother joined me.

You miss him, don’t you? she asked me casually.

Mom, I don’t want to miss him. I don’t want to talk about him, please!! I retaliated in a cold tone. I fluttered my eye lashes to avoid the tears from brimming out of the eyes.

Well, Uncle Rod is planning a small party at his place. Somewhere away, probably his farm house. What do you say? she softly said, her hands rubbing my shoulders.

Mom! I don’t want to go anywhere! I murmured,my voice cracking.

We silently drank from our cups. She took the empty one from my hand and started walking away, when I called out. Mom, why don’t you two go ahead.

No honey! Either we all go or no one! Relax it’s not important. You have some rest! Mom shouted back from the kitchen.

I was aware that Dad and Uncle Rod weren’t the best of buddies. But my mom’s brother was my favourite uncle. I knew if I canceled the plan, the whole thing would be canceled. That’s what happens when you are a favourite niece. A subtle smile crossed my face as I thought about Uncle Rod. The most adorable man in our family after Dad. The women in our family had been lucky, all the men had romance embedded in their genes.

That was till me. I had broken that jinx in the family.

 I fell for someone who was miles away from romance. I offered my heart to someone who had no wish to take it. With these thoughts John was back in my mind and thoughts. Along with him came the pain and dejected feeling. Today was going to be a difficult day to live. A suffocation I felt. My ribs seemed to crush my organs. My heart felt aching constrictions, making it difficult to breathe.

As tears filled up my eyes, I looked past the horizon. It was cloudy. 

It might rain by the evening. 

Did John make arrangements for the rain? Were there proper entrances to help the guests?

A thunder bolt from the sky stopped her from thinking ahead. What was I doing? I was not a part of that party anymore. I wasn’t a part of anything related to John anymore. No more. 

In that moment, reflecting on the need to keep herself away from John and his party, I made a decision. I would go and have some fun with my family. 

Maybe that would be better. It would not end her pain but it would divert those thoughts from John. And being with Uncle Rod would just be a relief. 

I had to go away. I had to stay away. I had to bring in some meters, some kilometers between us to stop myself from thinking of his party. 

But would this distance soothen my ache? Would going away, help me control my desire to go and see John? Would I be able to stop my thoughts from drawing up memories of those parties we had gone to? Would I? 

I just knew one thing! I had to! 

And just then my mobile started ringing. 

It rang and rang, waiting for me to pick it up!
[The story might just be coming closer to an end. It has been a long time from the previous part to the present part. Regret the delay. Hope you all are enjoying reading it as much as I am while I am writing it!]

©S.F.R.

Yours Truly! (7)

Getting quite longer than planned, isn’t it? I really need to learn how to show more with less words. 😮😮

Anyways, back to Yours Truly. I hope you are aware of the previous parts, this is now Part 7…. So….
Lights…. Camera…. Action!!

As the hours ticked away, I felt strange. Pain and sadness slowly subsided and worry started clouding my heart. The worry was how would John manage it all alone. I was always around him, sometimes as guest, sometimes as host. The day he had waited for, the party he was waiting to host, the dream he had planned to accomplish, and at that time, I wasn’t with him. Should I have stayed and helped him? Should I have remained in the office and resigned after the party? Had I been wrong?

Before I got swayed away by emotions, my mind played back the scene at the office. The way he looked at me, the way he showed no concern and feelings, the unattached and insensitive glare he gave me, all of them, made it clear that I would never get back anything in return, for the love I had for him. And all the concern of his party and his dreams snipped off my mind. I couldn’t have stayed there, for sure!

The day ended with not much said and heard at home. Mom had probably briefed Dad about it all, so he tried hard at dinner to cheer me up. I tried to join them in making it a light hearted moment, but all went in vain.

One of my office mates, sent me a message on WhatsApp, informing me that the party was on Saturday night. John had told everyone that I had gone due to some family emergency, thus messages kept pouring after office hours, where everyone kept asking me about the emergency, and leaving me messages of hope and good wishes.

Friday dawn brought memories of the days I used to race with time in the morning to bathe, eat and rush to office. But not today. Today, I was totally on my own. I had the time to crawl out of bed and bathe, to moan and grumble at the breakfast and go hiding in the room. Each time my eyes fell on the clock, I reflected what I would be doing if I were at office. And then, like a knife, pain struck me, thinking of what John would be doing at that hour. I wanted to hate John, but my heart wouldn’t find anything for which I could hate him. Even now, it seemed to side with him, reminiscing the time we both spent together.

There were beeps and LEDs sparkling from my phone. Notifications demanding my attention, but I didn’t want to know anything from anyone. Only once, I picked it up, hoping to see a mail or a message from John, but there were none. And it confirmed the thought running in my mind, that I was a ‘nobody’ for him. Truth. Bitter. But isn’t truth always bitter to accept. Yet, I had to, there was no way to disregard it.

I avoided moving out of the house. I had encaged myself, in my room. Only when mom or dad called me out for something, I stepped out and then at the nearest chance, I rushed back to my room. The day seemed never to end. Finally when it did, I was restless. The silence and gloominess of the darkness outside, was so much like me, from within.

Restless, I picked up my mobile and scrolled through the messages, again with hope. No message from John. I checked mail, nothing there too. Distraught at the way he had dropped me, least concerned about how I was and what promoted my resignation. As though I was like a flower pot, which while in its place, is a soothing view for the eyes, but when it is removed, it doesn’t make any difference in the environment.

Suddenly a notification came.
New message arrived

With a little hope and anxiety, I clicked it open.

Sandra, where r u? Called office, was told u didn’t come. Some emergency. What happened?

The little hope that had flickered in my heart like a flame, died a silent death, when I saw the message end with a single letter. “M“.

He called at office and he was told what everyone was told. No one still knew about my resignation. Probably John would tell it when he felt the right time and the right situation. At present, nothing was more important to him than his Dream Tie up.

I typed a short message for Martin, I didn’t want to talk to him or anyone else. So I just typed it up and sent it to him.
All fine. Hadn’t gone today. Occupied with prior commitment. C ya!

As soon as I pressed Send, the phone beeped in my hand. So soon?

Can talk? He asked.

No. Surrounded. I replied. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Any one!

Hmm. Party on Saturday. Got invitation. Lot of work? Take care. C ya! Bye!

I saw the message and dropped the phone on the bed. So he had received an invitation too for the party.

I lay my head on the pillow, trying to bar John from entering my thoughts. But it wasn’t possible, for he was running in my blood and was fixed in my memories. However hard I try, I knew I couldn’t get him out of my system, my heart and my mind. He will always remain the unfulfilled dream, the unforgettable love and the unattainable one for me!

And my love for him, would always remain, deep and strong. I knew it. And I had to live with it! For ever!

(P.S. Will John just let go of Sandra? Will Sandra go to the party? What does Martin want from her? 😯😯)

©S.F.R.

Yours Truly! (6)

If you’ve landed on the story now, please do check out the previous parts of it, to know about Sandra and John!

The story now. . . .

As everyone had settled in their seats and their attention was away from me, I quietly got up from my seat. I needed answers and I was determined to have them now. As each day had passed, I had hoped that things would get better. But now it was beyond my level of patience.

As I stepped forward, I took a deep breath, unaware of what lay ahead of me.
John sat there, the phone cradled on his shoulder and he just fumbling Yes… Yes.. Yes.
Keep the phone down John! I said stiffly.
He looked at my face. Shocked.
I would know if there was really someone on the other side, I reminded him.

I looked into his eyes.
What was it, that his eyes kept asking me? What was it that he wanted me to tell him?
Our eyes met, engrossed in a silent conversation.

He slowly looked down and placed the handpiece down, breaking the communication link which our eyes had established.
Yes Sandra? he asked, his eyes on me, but not telling anything anymore.
What’s wrong John? I asked, my voice quivering with emotions.
What’s wrong? Nothing’s wrong! Everything is fine Sandra! he said in a flat voice.
No! Nothing’s fine, I said aloud, angered by his behavior.
Look at yourself, John! Do you look fine? I asked him, my voice thundering in the room.

He slowly looked away at the window.
I guess I got too busy with the details and plan for the tie up, he said in a casual manner rubbing his fingers on his chin.
Look at me and speak John, I hissed with annoyance.
His eyes moved to mine and suddenly I felt as though I had never seen those eyes. They were like some stranger’s, staring back at me. Unattached, uncaring.

I walked towards him, with his big brown ebony table lying between us. I rested my palms on it, bending towards him. The closer I moved to him, the clearer I saw.
He was lying outright. He wasn’t fine. Not at all.

John. Please. Tell me what’s wrong? I asked softly.
Nothing’s wrong Sandra. We got a lot to plan so I want to decide on the details before the meeting, he said, sounding like the cold and unattached boss of the company.
I need to work much harder now. Need to make the company get bigger and bigger.

John, something is wrong here. Something between us, I stated, sad that not only was he avoiding talking about it, he wasn’t realizing and accepting that something was wrong.

Between us? What is wrong? He stopped.
What is there between us? he continued in a stern voice.

There’s nothing? I asked, still not able to accept that this man, whom I had feelings for, couldn’t understand me or my feelings.

He stood up and walked towards the window, which he was staring at, some time back.

There’s nothing, John? I repeated in a broken voice. It took all the energy out of me to ask that to him again.

Silence lay between us. He had to answer me.

By the way, I think you could handle the guest list, he said with his back still towards the window.
You know all the contacts which are important for the company and some one big and special seems to be your silent admirer! He remarked, sarcasm hitting me as a blow, hard and tearing me apart.

So, this…this coldness and avoidance is because of that! Some one sends me a painting, which I never asked for and I have to suffer. What is so disturbing about it John that you haven’t spoken to me since that day? You didn’t even tell me about this big deal! I spoke trying to stop my voice from shaking.

Am I supposed to tell you everything? Am I answerable to you Sandra? He questioned in a voice that sucked the air out of my lungs.
Do you forget, that YOU are my secretary! His voice echoed in the room and in my ears.

Reality struck me hard. Like a lighning. No love, but not even a friend? What did I mean to him then?
I had been foolish to think it was because of the painting. He was so dedicated to his job, that I was nothing for him, this fact shined in front of my eyes, while I stared at his back.

My lips moved. Uncontrollably and started sputtering words.
Is this what I get….for being in….. I stopped myself just in time and a silent tear fell from my eye.

He didn’t even turn to look at me. No word came off our lips. The silence in that moment struck my heart with the sword of rejection. I was nothing. It was my own thought and belief that I was special for him. How wrong I had been, all this time!

I silently walked away, towards the door. Clutching the pieces of my heart, which had just been sliced, I held the door. I wiped the tears off my face, took a deep breath and stepped out of the room. Not a word he uttered. He didn’t care. This was evident now!

I walked back to my place. Everything seemed to be hazy around me. Everyone was excited for the meeting and the responsibilities they would be entrusted with. While my heart ached with the thought of sitting and seeing John again. I sat there silent till John left the office for a meeting and lunch with the client. He said it aloud as he left, not to me as he always did. A weak smile came upon my face, when I realized how minute was my existence in his life. My presence didn’t matter.

I opened my mail box, and clicked on Compose. I didn’t even think much, while I typed on.

I left my name at the end, and with a heavy sigh, I clicked on send. The mail was sent.

I picked up my bag and straightened up my skirt. I wasn’t a messy person, so all the things I used were in their right place. I kept the company ID card and the keys of the filing section in the top most drawer.

I stood though my legs felt like jelly. They seemed too weak to carry my heavy heart. I slowly looked at John’s office, my first job, my first office and my first love. This place had a lot of firsts for me.

I walked out of the door of the office. As I took the turn at the corner of the road, away from the office building, my tears came flooding. It wasn’t possible for me to control them. They kept streaming my face as I kept walking away. No word, no cry, just salty water falling on my skin and moving across to my chin. I wiped them away with the back of my hands.

Standing at the signal waiting for the pedestrian sign to flash at the crossroad, my heart craved to have just one last glance at John, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen anymore. I had been foolish to think that one day, he may realize my feelings for him.

I knew people would think I was mad to leave office like that. Irrational and immature to walk off because I was stupidly in love with my boss while he didn’t even think to share such a big news with me, at least as a friend. If I wasn’t worth sharing a professional achievement then what was my place in his life?

My brain said it loud and clear. You mean nothing! You’re worth nothing! You are nothing for him.

It may sound crazy or foolishness but I couldn’t think of being there and see him everyday. Pretend there was nothing in my heart for him. I couldn’t act unaffected when being unworthy in his eyes meant pain to me, my heart.

By the time he would see the mail I had sent, I’d be home. Probably in my room. No more with him. The more I thought of being away from him, the more it crushed my heart.

Opening the door of the house, I ran into my bedroom. I threw myself on the bed and cried. I cried and wished the feelings and pain would flush out of me, like those tears expelled from my eyes.

Mother never came in rushing whenever I would cry. She gave me some time to let the emotions run out. After nearly an hour passed, she walked into my room, with two cups of hot piping coffee. She kept them at the table near my bed and sat beside my head.

I crawled and placed my head on her lap. She passed her soft and loving fingers through my hair. Mom’s fingers had magic. All mothers have it. They calmed my mind and my cry turned to whimpers.
What happened Sandra? she asked worried about my state, Did John say something?

Mom knew my feelings for John. I couldn’t hide it from her, ’cause whenever I tried to do so, she would try to hook me up with some guy she knew. So I had to tell her. She was the only person who knew my secret!
That’s the whole problem, Mom! I cried.
Sit up girl! She said patting my cheek.

I slowly got up and sat with my head low. She handed me the cup of coffee and said, Let’s hear it out now!
I told her everything. From the time we met Martin, the painting and John’s behavior, concluding with the big news about the company.

I agree Sandra, it must have sent you in a shock when suddenly his attention was on work. Maybe he felt apprehensive to share his plans, fearing some sabotage, she sided with him.

Mom! You don’t know how he spoke to me. I am nothing for him. Though he means the world to me. You know that!! I said in a faltering voice.

I know it dear! But does he? Mom asked.
He doesn’t and now he never will! I said with determination.
What do you mean? Mother asked confused.

I mailed him my resignation letter! I announced, ready to listen to mother lecture about my madness, work ethics and professionalism.
Her eyes widened and she questioned, You did what?
I resigned Mom! I shouted and fell back on the pillows.
And the pain returned back, with the pieces of my broken heart, piercing my soul.

image

Finally it was crystal clear, John didn’t love me!

(P.S. Seems to be getting longer. Will try to end it sooner! 😯) 😅😅
©S.F.R.

Yours Truly (5)

If you happen to get onto this part of the story before reading the previous ones, do check them out here
Yours Truly (1)
Yours Truly (2)
Yours Truly (3)
Yours Truly (4)

And now the next part!

This was totally unexpected and uncalled for. I didn’t even imagine that such a thing could happen to me. What had a simple helping gesture gotten me into? Though I admired the painting beyond limits but somehow, its beauty wasn’t radiating awe or admiration now. It was just sitting there on my desk like a big mysterious piece of a jigsaw puzzle. What did this gift mean?

John was out of the office for a couple of hours. When he returned, he walked past me while I sat in my seat, having put the painting behind the table, completely out of his view. Something about painting or was it about Martin, seemed to annoy John and effected everything around him. When I called him to tell him about his appointments post lunch, he spoke in monosyllables.
Yes.
OK.
Venue?
Time?

As I sat quietly, the phone rang. It was John’s direct number. Some client of his, I thought. I took a deep breath and picked it up.

John’s office, I spoke in a secretarial voice, I had learned to master in this one year.
Is this Sandra? The voice on the other side asked.
Yes! How may I help you? I asked, wondering who would want to speak to me.
Mom and dad called me on the mobile and others never called me during office hours. Friends always called during the weekend to check out on me.
Quite an unexpected caller, this was!

Sandra! Martin here! The voice boomed in my ear.
Just not what I wanted!
Oh Martin! I said quietly. I didn’t want John to know I was speaking to someone whose presence made him dreadful, for some unknown reasons.
You don’t sound happy that I called! He said in a teasing tone.
God! Was it so easy to know what I was feeling!

Oh no! Nothing like that. I didn’t expect your call, I said trying to end the talk soon.
So? He asked, as though waiting for me to tell him something.
Confused what he wanted to know, I repeated the word.
Did you like it? He asked in a tremulous voice.
Like? I enquired, still not able to understand what he meant.
You didn’t get it? He asked surprise resonating in his voice.
Oh! I got it! Thanks but you shouldn’t have, I said, sounding unexcited even to myself. I sounded like an ungrateful person. It was something he valued, as it was engraved at the back of his visiting cards. Yet here I was showing no regard for it.

It is beautiful, I said.
Thanks! He replied softly.
You didn’t have to send it off to me! I said.
Only if he hadn’t!
Things would have been normal here, between John and me.

Well, you were really amazed at it and I wanted to give it to someone who would admire it, he explained, I’m glad I found someone who really deserves to keep it.

Thank you so much! I said.
Oh you needn’t thank me so much for it! Please consider it as a gift for your kindness last night, he said casually.
A silence fell between us and I hoped he would disconnect the call soon.
Can we meet up for coffee? he asked hope mingled in his voice.

Well, I am busy here at office and can’t move out unless it is weekend, I said trying to avoid any promises.
Yes. I know you’re at office. I didn’t have your mobile number so I called up here! he stated.
Hmm! I said, not speaking much, afraid that he would ask for the number.

Just then the phone rang at his side. Maybe he too was in his office.
God bless the caller.

OK then! See you soon! He said, in a hurry.
Sure! Good bye! I said and put back the phone before he had said bye.
Deciding firmly that I had to return the painting back to him, I had a look at it. I didn’t deserve it.

I didn’t want it!

John kept to himself the rest of the day. He didn’t call me when the client came in for the meeting, he didn’t ask me to come in and take down any points or terms for the agreements to be typed. When the clock struck three, as per the routine, I took in his cup of coffee.

I knocked and entered in the room. He was holding the phone to his ear. I knew he was speaking to no one. All his calls passed through me to him. I placed the coffee in front of him and left. He was avoiding me. Why was he behaving this way?
I hadn’t asked Martin for the painting!

The day ended with the same gloominess between us. He was not very chatty with the others usually and neither was he angry as he had been in the morning, so everyone felt that he was no more hostile, just silent as always. But I knew it wasn’t normal, or a usual thing. He avoided looking me in the eyes. It astonished me more when for the first time since he had joined the office, he left before everyone. He was always the last. After I had joined, it had been both of us, together. Today, I was left back!

As Tuesday dawned, the uneasiness continued between us. I felt he was over reacting and being too foolish to take just a small gesture out of context. It was just a painting after all. To avoid any reaction from him or the other colleagues at work, I took the painting home. I kept it in the living room, in mother’s house. She liked it, and said I could hang it till I decided what to do about it. I decided to talk to Martin first and then hand it over back to him.

I didn’t want the painting in the house. It was beautiful but some how it made me restless. It made me think of Martin and John. It brought me memories of that night at the party, it made me ponder over the difference in the ways Martin and John behaved towards me. What was I thinking? What was this supposed to mean? This was just a friendly gesture, wasn’t it?

As the week dragged to Wednesday, nothing between us changed. Rather he turned cold and distanced from all of us. Except orders nothing came from him. No hi-hello, no cordial greetings. Just orders and filing work for me.
Rather he stayed out most of the time. He was keeping himself occupied with the new client and that was bothering me. I had no idea where he was, the max he told me on the phone was – out with an important client and not to be disturbed. Inspite of being in the same office, we both were in two different worlds.

He was silently avoiding me and it broke my heart. Knowing he wasn’t ready and unaware of my love, was different but to be left alone was painful. Made me feel abandoned, the worst kind of feeling. Though my heart always broke when some woman would throw herself at him, I knew he wouldn’t take a rational step and use her to his advantage. Somehow, here I felt, he wasn’t trusting me. Did he feel I was interested in Martin? The question gave birth to another one. Was he concerned if I was?

Thursday came. Same morning and same old files and desk. With nothing to type or file in the cabinet. I was checking on the company mails. I rarely did this, as most of the things were told verbally to me by John. But these days, we hadn’t even spoke a complete sentence to each another. Suddenly a red spot blinked on the Inbox folder. A mail had come in. From John. Wondering what it could be, I dragged the cursor to it and clicked it open.

My heart jumped with joy. It was a mail which he had forwarded to all in the office. An invitation for the press meet where one of the clients was announcing a five year contract with our company. A tie up. The huge opportunity than John had always waited for. As one by one everyone clicked open the mails, the office echoed with the joyous shouts. They all collected and walked over to me.

Wow Sandra!
That’s big news!
Why didn’t you tell us?
Quite a secret you both had kept!
They spoke collectively.

I realized now why he was so busy these days. Those long hours outside, those long meetings and busy schedule he kept. Was that why he was being so indifferent?
As the news sunk in. I was startled when the thought struck me.
Secret?
We both?
No! I was not part of it at all. He hadn’t told me too!
John didn’t tell me such an important thing.

The aloofness of his had hurt me, and he had deepened the wound with this. A lump rose in my heart and tears started forming in the eyes. I was scared it would fall and everyone would be asking me questions. To which I had no answers.

Just then the door opened and John stepped out.

I was surprised to see him stand there. It was the first time after Monday’s lunch, that he stood completely in my view.
He wasn’t as he would always be. Unkempt hair replaced his gelled hair, stubble covered his chin which he kept shaved everyday, his eyes were tired and sad. As a matter of fact, he was in a mess.

He had been avoiding me at lunch, leaving office and returning after the lunch break. Coming after me and rushing into his office with the mobile tucked between his shoulder and chin. As though busy in some important call. I hadn’t been able to see him properly until now.

He came out and stood with all the workers gathered in the middle. I stood behind my desk, a little far. I could see him and hear him but I didn’t feel like going in that group. His eyes moved around and settled on mine as congratulatory messages were echoing in the office. There was a sadness in his eyes instead of the spark which they had when he accomplished something. He stood there, the man in charge with a reason to celebrate but he looked powerless and lonely. What was happening to him?

As the party was organized to announce the tie up, we were to co-host it. To delegate work before the event, he asked us to collect in the meeting hall after lunch. There was still about an hour left.

All slowly dispersed away. Occupying their seats, all smiles and proud of being part of the company, progressing towards its goals. There was talk about promotions, bonus, salary hikes and excitement in the air.
But somehow I felt distraught. Why? Why was I being treated as just another employee? Was I just that for him? He always treated me as a friend first and then as secretary. But had the dynamics between us changed? And why?

I needed answers. And I needed them now.

(P.S. Looks like there will be more to come! Keep reading! 😂)
©S.F.R.